Fun Vinegaroon Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 17, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Vinegaroon facts for kids are intriguing
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

A giant vinegaroon that is famously called the whip scorpion for its whip-like tail, is common in North America. The species, under the scientific name mastigoproctus giganteus, is one of those harmless insects that looks like a cross between a spider and scorpion.

The name vinegaroon is not only used for scorpions but also spiders and bugs. A vinegaroon is also known as 'Uropygi' especially among the scientific groups as an alternate name to suggest the order Uropygi.

Vinegaroons are nonvenomous and as their defense mechanism, they use the spray technique where they spray a combination of caprylic acid and acetic acid that gives out a pungent odor.

These insects are calm in nature and lead a solitary, unperturbed, and peaceful life (even during the breeding season). They do not form colonies and even the males and females live separately.

They are adept enough to fend for themselves in the wilderness. However, the rate of population growth of mastigoproctus giganteus has not been evaluated.

If you found these vinegaroon scorpion facts engaging then you can also read through some interesting facts about the scorpion and the Brazilian wandering spider.

Vinegaroon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Vinegaroon?

A giant vinegaroon (Mastigoproctus giganteus) is a scorpion.

What class of animal does a Vinegaroon belong to?

A vinegaroon belongs to the class of arthropods.

How many Vinegaroons are there in the world?

Vinegaroons exist in about 140 identified species. Nevertheless, the accurate number of species in current existence is not yet known due to a lack of proper information.

Where does a Vinegaroon live?

Mastigoproctus giganteus can be found in several places like North America, northern and central parts of Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

What is a Vinegaroon's habitat?

A vinegaroon scorpion thrives in deserts. However, they can also survive in tropical and temperate climates found in the grasslands, woodlands, forests, and mountainous areas. Vinegaroon scorpions are known to live in secluded places like inside a burrow, hole, or even under rocks or rotting wood.

Who do Vinegaroons live with?

They do not live in groups or stick together. These scorpions like to remain isolated in moist and dark places so they maintain quite some distance from well-lit areas. In some cases, they live in the company of humans when domesticated.

How long does a Vinegaroon live?

Vinegaroons can live up to seven years in the wild. The species of scorpion can also live in captivity for four to seven years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding process for Mastigoproctus giganteus initiates at night during the fall season. Unlike many other species of animals, the reproduction process is actually started by the female where it looks for and approaches the male.

The approving male engages in a 'courtship dance' with the female while the disapproving male often engages in a fight.

In the first case, both genders use their pedipalps to mate. In the second case, the male uses their pedipalps against the pedipalps of the female to fight.

However, after the males release their spermatophore and complete the process, females become internal carriers of the fertilized eggs for a few months before they transfer those eggs to sacs attached to their abdomen. Every sac contains 30 to 40 eggs.

During this time, the female generally serves the gestation period of nearly two months in a burrow clutching at the sac as the eggs slowly develop.

After hatching from the eggs, the scorplings crawl up to stay on their mother's back for some time until they get the first molt. Since the newborns stay on the mother's back for a month, the mother eventually becomes extremely fragile due to prolonged starvation and hard labor and ultimately perishes.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has Not Listed the conservation status of these whip scorpions. Although these scorpions are existent in certain numbers, they are somewhat threatened and perhaps their population is not increasing exponentially.

Vinegaroon Fun Facts

What do Vinegaroons look like?

Vinegaroon on a rock

Vinegaroons generally have reddish-brown or dark brown shades. They possess a body structure that appears like the combination of a scorpion and spider as factually, they are closer relatives to spiders. Their pedipalps have developed into two big claws on either side.

They have four pairs of legs in total, the last three are used for moving while the first pair of frontal legs act as sensory organs. They also have a whip-like tail instead of the stinger.

Their body structure can be divided into prosoma and opisthosoma, that is cephalothorax and abdomen respectively. The females have smaller pedipalps when compared with the males. They have eight eyes but very poor eyesight.

How cute are they?

Vinegaroons are not at all cute when it comes to appearance. In fact, the sight of it may be creepy and evoke nothing but disgust. However, some consider these insects cute and keep them as pets.

How do they communicate?

Whip scorpions communicate by using their sensory organs located in the two frontal legs, commonly called antenniform legs. These legs work as receptors to understand different kinds of stimuli.

Since Mastigoproctus giganteus is known for their poor eyesight, they use their sensory organs to interact while searching for prey or even a mate. Along with the legs, their tail and pedipalps also serve their purpose in sensing their surroundings.

How big is a Vinegaroon?

These insects have an average length of 1.6-2.4 in (40-60mm). It is almost four times smaller than the giant forest scorpion that stands at a length of around nine inches (23 cm).

How fast can Vinegaroons move?

Giant vinegaroons are known to run very fast. They can even make quick leaps and jumps. However, the accurate speed limit is unknown as it has not yet been ascertained.

How much does a Vinegaroon weigh?

Contrary to the name, a giant vinegaroon is extremely lightweight. The species weighs a lot less than 0.4 oz (12.4 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female scorpions of the species do not have any specific designation. They are just called a male scorpion and a female scorpion respectively.

What would you call a baby Vinegaroon?

A baby vinegaroon is commonly referred to as a scorpling.

What do they eat?

Whip scorpions are carnivorous and their diet mainly consists of other bark scorpions, insects like crickets, cockroaches, and others, isopods, millipedes, as well as slugs and worms.

Are they harmful?

Unlike other venomous scorpions, vinegaroons are not harmful as they do not possess the deadly and poisonous stinger. However, when these insects feel threatened they might attack by spraying acetic acid in defense. This might prove to be painful even if it does not kill you.

Would they make a good pet?

If the popular belief is to be considered, these scorpions can serve as a good pet since it is not venomous and is pretty docile in nature. They are not even dangerous in the presence of children.

However, the requirements for vinegaroon care can be painstaking as they must be kept and maintained in a regulated space that is an imitation of their natural habitat.

Did you know...

The scientists first identified and described the Mastigoproctus giganteus around the late 18th and early 19th century with just two sub-species. Now, we have 140 identified species of vinegaroon.

Vinegaroons are also called giant whip scorpion or sometimes grampus. The special features of the species are its whip-like tail, frontal legs, and pedipalps.

Vinegaroons are not just scorpions but other insects like the vinegaroon spider and the vinegaroon bug.

A female vinegaroon can give birth only once in their lifetime as after the birthing process they die.

The whip scorpions are essentially nocturnal and hunt in the darkness of the night.

Naming the Vinegaroon

The name vinegaroon has been attributed to the species owing to its spray action. A giant whip scorpion possesses the ability to spray acetic acid that smells like vinegar when they feel threatened. The name 'vinegaroon' resembles the word vinegar.

Do people keep Vinegaroons as pets?

In the pet trading business, the giant vinegaroon is a common name among scorpions. Although these insects are not meant to be domesticated a number of people have raised and bred them in captivity.

Since they are considered non-toxic, people have kept them as pets. Additionally, they serve as excellent pest control.

However, these whip scorpions are best if left alone in their natural habitat.

Moreover, taking care of baby vinegaroons can prove to be a tasking job as they need to be provided with an environment that resembles their natural habitat (in a small tank filled with sand, mud, and gravel). The temperature needs to be regulated while they have to be offered meals comprising worms or two to three crickets every month.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the pseudoscorpion and the yellow sac spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our vinegaroon coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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